We hit the half way point for the Divisional Round and its getting spicy!
We started at St. Edwards where the Oaks looked to turn around their 30pt loss to Storm men the previous week. Oaks played solid, strong basketball and they had jumped to 13pt lead at the half. Storm replied with some shooting from Nathan Wickens, who had 8 in the quarter, but the Oaks held on to take the win 86-71 and take 2nd spot in Div1.
The same night, down the road, the Suns welcomed the Classics. They had the lead after the first quarter but then to their own admission, played poor offence against a solid Classics D. They were held to just 3 points in the 2nd. 24-19 to Classics at the half, and then they ran out eventual winners, using the experience to close the game, 53-34. Gareth Bishop with MVP.
On the Tuesday, the Seahawks travelled to Blazers, and took an early control, and had a commanding 29-11 lead, before Blazers started to find rhythm, and got to the basket. Seahawks offence dried up and Blazers mounted a comeback, which the Seahawks were just able to hold off, to register their first win of the season. 60-55. Harry Midgley with game MVP on 20pts.
Spartans / Bandits was a top of the table clash for Div 2, and a great close game, with the lead tick-tocking back and forth between them. Bandits lead 18-13 after 1, and Spartans lead 33-28 at the half. Bandits then had the lead again after a 7-0 run in the 4th, to lead by 1 with under 2mins to go, but it was the Spartans who went down the clutch and got the win, and iced it from the line when it counted. 66-57.
Valentines day saw Bears travel to Storm U18 and it was a hard fought game, with little love loss between them! The Bears had a 27-18 lead after 1, but the young guns shot lights out and quickly closed that gap to put the league leaders under pressure and it was 43-44 to Bears at the half. Storm took a commanding lead and had stretched it to 10pts by the end of 3, but their offence dried up, and Bears showed their experience to complete the comeback, and take the win 78-71. Mark Gorman getting MVP.
Suns made the trip west to Weymouth Bandits and took a while to get started. Bandits had a 9pt lead after 10mins, and never looked back. Suns had clearly fixed their shooting after their low total last week, but Bandits bounced back from their loss to Spartans, to take command of 2nd spot in Div2, and keep the pressure on the Spartans. It ended 82-54 with Harry Bennett taking MVP honours, leading from the Point Guard position on 12pts.
Thursday saw the Classics travel to the Seahawks, with the youngest team looking to get one over their more "experienced" elders. The Seahawks exploited the larger hall space of their home court, and took an early command of the game and had an 11pt lead, before the Classics replied and had cut it to 2pts at the half. The Classics then found the space inside and moved the ball well, but Seahawks refused to go away and it was 63-57 with 10 to play. But the Classics showed their class and gave the boys a lesson in how to close a game, and ran out winners, 87-65. A.Wolffe took MVP honours, leading his team down the stretch, with 12 pts in just his 10mins of play.
So we sit, with most teams playing 5 of their 10 games, with Bears still undefeated in Div1, and Oaks putting the pressure on Bears, with Evolution still on 0.500% with a game in hand. Tigers are missing a few games due to broken rims at the Uni but its still all to play for in a tight top division.
Div2 has Spartans on top, undefeated on 5-0, but Bandits hot on their heels. Classics now sit above Suns, and Seahawks are above Blazers on points difference.
A quiet Week 6 has only 2 games (mainly due to half terms) before a very busy 5 games in Week 7.